Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art

  • NFQ Level 7
  • Points Required 449*
  • Course Code SG231
  • Award Ordinary Bachelor Degree Abinitio
  • Duration 3

Course Summary

The course is designed to offer students the widest possible experience in materials and media - drawing, painting, digital media photography & video, ceramics, printmaking, sculptural studies, work in context, visual literacy and visual material culture and history/theory of art. These are taught with a focus on the student’s own research and art-making initiatives as the years progress.


The obvious answer is to help you acquire the skills that will help you to become an artist. Studying Fine Art encourages students to develop individual ways of thinking and of expressing themselves in visual and theoretical terms. It fosters an awareness and responsiveness to the world around you and within you. It recognises the value of individual approaches and provides an environment for learning and confidence building that show in numerous personal and professional ways. One of the most important things to remember about Fine Art is that there is no map, no agreed way of doing things. At IT Sligo we provide students with the skills and resources to make this an exciting journey.


Students are equipped with the practical skills, knowledge, and intellectual resources necessary for a rewarding career in the arts. Contemporary and historical art practices are examined through a series of lectures, seminars and written assignments.

As students progress through the course, there is an increasing emphasis on individual research and outcomes. External engagements include a regular visiting artist lecture series and national and international study trips. Students have opportunities to engage with collaborative projects with local and national art institutions.


Modules include Visual Literacy, Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, Visual and Material Culture, Digital Lens-Based Media and Ceramics.


Students develop their skills from the modules introduced in Year One as advanced modules in year two. There are six modules in year two Drawing, Painting, Digital Lens Based Media, Ceramics, Printmaking and Visual and Material Culture.


Students move from set practice modules to one overall studio module where they develop their practice in their own direction and increase their use of individual studio space. Sculpture and Drawing Modules lend extra areas for development and expression. History and Theory of Art and the Work-In Context modules complement the practical modules. Work in Context offers real-world experience within the arts sector and students often complete this module through organising public art events and curation projects. In year three students work in Creative Interdisciplinary Practice with other creative programmes.

Click here to view the IT Sligo Fine arts Flickr account and image gallery

Entry Requirements

Entry requirements for CAO courses at IT Sligo are available for download below:

This degree is classified on the CAO as a restricted course, this means applicants are encouraged to apply early before 5th of May, however applicants may submit a late application through the CAO change of mind period.

The CAO points are a combination of academic results and a digital portfolio. The portfolio carries a weighting of a maximum of 100 additional points to academic results for applicants under 23 years of age.


The Digital Portfolio Application Portal will open 3 times. The digital portfolio must be uploaded to our platform in advance of the following portfolio acceptance dates;

CAO Application/ Portfolio Submission Deadlines;

  • 15th February - Open for submissions from mid-January to 15th February.
  • 5th May - submit from the start of March until the 5th of May
  • We would encourage you to submit as early as possible

Late CAO Portfolio Submission Deadline;

  • 5th July - we will accept applications up to the 5th of July to allow for the late application and change of mind dates.

Click here for more information and guidelines for submitting your digital portfolio

Once you have read this important document you can upload your digital portfolio here IT Sligo Digital Portfolio Application Platform

Please note mathematics is not required to study this degree.

Career Opportunities

While many of our graduates go on to become successful practicing artists including painters, printmakers, sculptors and installation artists, ceramicists, filmmakers and photographers, others choose to make careers in related areas.

Many of our graduates work in arts administration and arts management, exhibition curation, including private and public art administration in local authority art offices, museums and art centres and galleries both nationally and internationally.

In the art education field in schools, colleges and university as well as art education officers in museums and art centres.

Further Study

Fine Art graduates frequently go on to postgraduate study in colleges in Ireland, the UK and abroad.

Level 7 Graduates may progress to the Level 8 one year add-on in Fine Art here at IT Sligo

BA (Hons) in Fine Art (add-on)

Graduates of the Level 8 honours degree often choose to progress to an MFA in Fine Art or related areas such as MA in Arts Management, MA in principles of Teaching and PHD in Art Research areas.

Graduates of the Level 8 honours degree may also complete a Professional Master of Education (PME) in Art and Design to become a secondary school teacher of Art.

Level 8 Fine Art Graduates may progress to the IT Sligo Master of Arts in Creative Practice


"It's challenging in a good way. I like how open it is to pursue what you want to do creatively."

Hannah - BA (Hons) in Fine Art graduate, award winner and solo show exhibitionist, Secondary School Art Teacher

"The large studio facilities gave me time, space and freedom to explore multiple mediums. I also appreciated the variety and expanse of books available online and in the Library.”

Stephanie - BA (Hons) in Fine Art graduate

Did you know?

Previous study in Art is not an entry requirement.

Final year YAADA students take part in a creative showcase each year. Check out the Yeats Academy of Arts, Design and Architecture Yearbook to see their work.

We are interested in people who want to pursue a career in art-making and related fields. The students on our course are all ages and come from a wide variety of backgrounds. What unites them is that they are creative and imaginative people who can respond to the world around them in visual terms.

Students have dedicated studio space and access to specialised printmaking, ceramics, photography and digital media and woodwork workshops, housed in our super new purpose-built studio block.

The Studio lecturers on our BA in Fine Art are passionate about their subjects and are practising artists with national and international reputations.

We pride ourselves on taking care of our students and have year coordinators and individual tutors to assist you through each stage in your development.

It is important to have a good work ethic as a Fine Art student and to love making things.

Drawing is a thinking tool and as such is one of the most important tools the student can have, for this reason we include modules in drawing right through to the end of third year.

We want our students to succeed and have a carefully designed series of modules to equip students to be confident and versatile when they graduate. 

We offer a broader range of discipline modules in the first two years. Students specialise in the later part of the course choosing their own path. Students may focus on one discipline if they wish and are equally confident should they choose to mix disciplines.

We offer a strong range of professional modules to help our students to explore their place in the industry including group and individual projects in understanding fine art and related career fields. Supporting our graduating students with career advice and assistance in making postgraduate applications is strongly embedded into our professional modules and our ethos as a course.

We also offer several shared Modules such as Creative Interdisciplinary Studies, where students are encouraged to engage with tutors and students on research and projects and gain an insight into other parts of the creative industries.

Fine Art students need to take time to immerse themselves in art. We include lots of extra parts in our programme to deepen our student's engagement. These include a regular visiting artist and art industry professional lecture series. Also, national and international study trips to visit museums, galleries and art fairs in Ireland and major European cities including London, Paris, Berlin and Venice.

Click here to view the IT Sligo Fine arts Flickr account and image gallery

Course Format

Semester 1

Ceramics 2: Extruded Form and Raku Glazing05
Printmaking 2 (Advanced printmaking techniques)05
Painting 2 (Introduction to Painting on Supports)05
Visual and Material Culture 2 (Frameworks of Modernity)05
Digital Lens Based Media Two Intro to Digital Imaging05
Drawing 2 (Foundation in Drawing Mediums)05

Semester 2

Ceramics 1: Introduction to Clay Origins, Processes and Surface Treatments.05
Printmaking 1 (Simple printmaking techniques)05
Visual Literacy05
Painting 1 (Colour, Light and Composition)05
Visual and Material Culture 1 (Introduction & Historical Survey)05
Digital Lens Based Media One Intro Photography Film and Digital05

Semester 3

Visual and Material Culture 3: (The Contemporary World)05
Printmaking 3 (Project based printmaking 1)05
Digital Lens Based Media 3 - Photography05
Painting 3 (Process and Concepts)05
Drawing 3 (Expanding Applications)05
Ceramics 3: Developing Multiples, Press Moulding and Slip Casting05

Semester 4

Painting 4 (Extending the Medium)05
Digital Lens Based Media 4 - Intro to Video Production05
Ceramics 4: Amalgamations, Thrown Form and Glaze Technology.05
Printmaking 4 (Project based printmaking 2)05
Drawing 4 (Sustaining Practices)05
Visual and Material Culture 4 (Art & Social Practice)05

Semester 5

Drawing 5: Identifying Concerns05
History / Theory of Art 1 (Exhibition Catalogue Essay)05
Yeats Academy Creative Interdisciplinary Practice I05
Practice 1: Establishing Direction10
Sculpture Studies: Land Art, Ephemera and the Site Specific.05

Semester 6

History / Theory of Art 2 (Contextual Research)05
Practice 2 : Developing an Exhibition15
Drawing 6: Refining a Practice05
Work in Context (Identifying the Future)05